By Robert W. Wood – Sacre Bleu! Sky high French tax rates topping out at 75% caused France’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, to apply for Belgian nationality.
It turns out the wealthy French asked for it. Think Buffett in a beret. As the New York Times reported here, Welcoming Higher Taxes, but Not That High, many wealthy French signed a petition seeking higher taxes. Talk about a certain je ne sais quoi.
Faced with the prospect of paying these let-them-eat-cake rates, I’ll bet Belgium looks lovely this time of year. more> http://tinyurl.com/9d4fm2k
By Fred Pals – A third of Dutch voters in the run-up to the Sept. 12 vote back the Socialists, who oppose more spending cuts and refuse to hand over more sovereignty to Europe, or the Freedom Party, which seeks an exit from the European Union and the euro. That will make it tough for caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals to find support from perhaps three or four parties for a majority in parliament and keep cutting the deficit.
A new Dutch government less willing to pursue austerity or readier to see the euro break up might make Merkel’s task more complex at a time when the chancellor is striving to find common ground with French Socialist President Francois Hollande. more> http://tinyurl.com/9n25q7y
By Mark Deen and Tony Czuczka – Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts President Francois Hollande today as officials look for ways to stave off an immediate crisis after a report due next month from Greece’s international creditors on the health of its finances.
With the leaders of Europe’s two biggest economies still at the confidence-building stage, Merkel and Hollande are seeking common ground on Greece and the wider euro-area debt crisis almost three years after its inception. more> http://tinyurl.com/8f9yqkq
Posted in Banking, Business, Economy, Leadership
Tagged Angela Merkel, Antonis Samaras, Capital, European Central Bank, Financial crisis, François Hollande, Government, Greece, Super regions
By James G. Neuger and Helene Fouquet – French President Francois Hollande put French endorsement of a German-inspired deficit-control treaty on hold, and Italy and Spain withheld approval of a 120 billion-euro ($149 billion) growth-boosting package unless Germany authorizes steps to calm their bond markets.
By provoking an open breach with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the new French leader overturned the austerity-first consensus that has dominated the debt-crisis response and risked fracturing the Berlin-Paris alliance that built the European Union and euro. more> http://tinyurl.com/6lpxfgb
Posted in Banking, Economy, Leadership
Tagged Angela Merkel, Banking reform, Chancellor of Germany, Currency, European Union, Financial crisis, François Hollande, Government, President of France
Council on Foreign Relations – Romney seems to be already aligning with House Republicans, such as Rep. Paul Ryan, who argue that budget cuts to entitlements and tax cuts are the combination of policies needed to reduce U.S. debt and kick-start the slumping economy.
The approach underscores the philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats. The former tend to favor the strict austerity approach being mandated by German and EU leaders. President Obama and other Democrats, meanwhile, tend to argue for more stimulus to generate growth in the short term, while arguing for a long-term plan to reduce deficits and the debt—similar to that advocated by French president-elect Francois Hollande. more> http://tinyurl.com/8yq9ery